Banned Apple Gadgets Are Huge in Iran

Vendors sell to big banks, media firms
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 13, 2012 2:23 PM CDT
Banned Apple Gadgets Are Huge in Iran
This photo shows the company logo at the Apple Store in London.   (AP Photo/dapd, Martin Oeser)

US sanctions ban Apple products from making their way to Iran shops—but with sales of the devices and software booming, merchants are obviously paying little heed. Some 100 shops in Tehran sell Apple items obtained through secret trade routes, Reuters reports, and Iranians are skirting rules and hiding their location to download materials straight off the iTunes store. Then there's Apple Iran's website, which looks almost identical to the California firm's—even though, in its words, it "is not in anyway affiliated with Apple Inc." Apple is trying to get it shut down, a source says.

Rather than trying to hide what they're doing, Apple Iran's staff is "really proud" of the site, a rep says. "I'm known as the Apple guy by friends and family." The firm sells its wares to big banks and media outlets. Another seller, RadanMac, orders supplies from Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia, but with restrictions getting tighter, there are also routes through Dubai and Turkey. Despite the expenses of shipping, the price for consumers isn't much more than at authorized dealers. "If you can provide your customers with everything they need, you'll survive," says RadanMac's owner. (More Iran stories.)

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